As we explore education across the globe, what hits me is how parents no matter where they’re from or what their financial means will do anything to provide or try to get the best education for their children. Also how quality education, may sometimes be taken for granted in this country. One example of this is in India where we found that parents with very little means do whatever is possible to find the money to pay to send their children to private school. The reasons for this are that in the public schools, class sizes can be huge; sometimes even approaching over 100 children. Also teachers in public schools often do not show up to teach where at the private schools there are smaller classes and more dedicated teachers.
Another example of the sacrifice or dedication that parents make for the education of their children and the emphasis on education is what one of our consultants saw while she spent time in Korea. Korean families if they could afford it were trying to send their children to the International schools as they came to realize how important English skills are. Many of them also tend to send their children to the U.S to study. She heard of families living apart for years as one parent moved to the U.S with the children so they could assimilate and get ahead with further education. In the Korean psyche education rules supreme! If they decide to stay in Korea and educate their children in local schools then your school and more so your college alumnus determines how successful you will be in life – the college you get in to is the most important achievement in a student’s life – kids study for the entrance exam for 2 years – it determines the job you get, to the company you keep and even to the person you marry. The network is extremely strong. It is far more intense and competitive than anything you have experienced in the U.S. That college entrance exam the kids in Korea give every year is like a National incident – planes are not allowed to fly overhead, offices start late so kids don’t get stuck in traffic and get late for their exam, mothers spend the entire day on their knees in temples praying for their children, special motorbike taxis are run which can weave in and out of traffic to get them to the exam on time.